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The phrases in their context!


It is a stranger who has been long a guest; and we make it welcome to stay, until it can take up a more suitable abode in a complete system of anthropology--the pendant to empirical physics.
The above is the general idea of metaphysics, which, as more was expected from it than could be looked for with justice, and as these pleasant expectations were unfortunately never realized, fell into general disrepute.
Our Critique must have fully convinced the reader that, although metaphysics cannot form the foundation of religion, it must always be one of its most important bulwarks, and that human reason, which naturally pursues a dialectical course, cannot do without this science, which checks its tendencies towards dialectic and, by elevating reason to a scientific and clear self-knowledge, prevents the ravages which a lawless speculative reason would infallibly commit in the sphere of morals as well as in that of religion.
We may be sure, therefore, whatever contempt may be thrown upon metaphysics by those who judge a science not by its own nature, but according to the accidental effects it may have produced, that it can never be completely abandoned, that we must always return to it as to a beloved one who has been for a time estranged, because the questions with which it is engaged relate to the highest aims of humanity, and reason must always labour either to attain to settled views in regard to these, or to destroy those which others have already established.
Metaphysic, therefore--that of nature, as well as that of ethics, but in an especial manner the criticism which forms the propaedeutic to all the operations of reason--forms properly that department of knowledge which may be termed, in the truest sense of the word, philosophy.
The path which it pursues is that of science, which, when it has once been discovered, is never lost, and never misleads.
Mathematics, natural science, the common experience of men, have a high value as means, for the most part, to accidental ends--but at last also, to those which are necessary and essential to the existence of humanity.
But to guide them to this high goal, they require the aid of rational cognition on the basis of pure conceptions, which, be it termed as it may, is properly nothing but metaphysics.
For the same reason, metaphysics forms likewise the completion of the culture of human reason.
In this respect, it is indispensable, setting aside altogether the influence which it exerts as a science.
For its subject-matter is the elements and highest maxims of reason, which form the basis of the possibility of some sciences and of the use of all.
That, as a purely speculative science, it is more useful in preventing error than in the extension of knowledge, does not detract from its value; on the contrary, the supreme office of censor which it occupies assures to it the highest authority and importance.
This office it administers for the purpose of securing order, harmony, and well-being to science, and of directing its noble and fruitful labours to the highest possible aim--the happiness of all mankind.
CHAPTER IV. The History of Pure Reason.
This title is placed here merely for the purpose of designating a division of the system of pure reason of which I do not intend to treat at present.
I shall content myself with casting a cursory glance, from a purely transcendental point of view--that of the nature of pure reason--on the labours of philosophers up to the present time.
They have aimed at erecting an edifice of philosophy; but to my eye this edifice appears to be in a very ruinous condition.
It is very remarkable, although naturally it could not have been otherwise, that, in the infancy of philosophy, the study of the nature of God and the constitution of a future world formed the commencement, rather than the conclusion, as we should have it, of the speculative efforts of the human mind.
However rude the religious conceptions generated by the remains of the old manners and customs of a less cultivated time, the intelligent classes were not thereby prevented from devoting themselves to free inquiry into the existence and nature of God; and they easily saw that there could be no surer way of pleasing the invisible ruler of the world, and of attaining to happiness in another world at least, than a good and honest course of life in this.
Thus theology and morals formed the two chief motives, or rather the points of attraction in all abstract inquiries.
But it was the former that especially occupied the attention of speculative reason, and which afterwards became so celebrated under the name of metaphysics.